Police arrest man after fatal stabbing over lighter in Mesa

Aug 16, 2022, 11:00 AM

(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)...

(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Sheriffs arrested a man in Mesa Sunday after he fatally stabbed another man 50 to 70 times in an altercation on Friday, authorities said.

Officers responded to a call of a stabbing at the intersection of University Dr. and Extension Rd in Mesa around 1:40 a.m.

At the scene, officers noticed the defendant, Roberto Villareal-Suarez, just south of the reported scene of the stabbing with blood visible on his hands and clothing, according to a press release.

Villareal-Suarez also had a knife with blood on it, as well as an electronic tablet in his hands when police found him.

Police then found the victim, a male, in a pool of blood in the middle of the intersection at 800 W University Drive, according to the release.

The victim was unresponsive and had numerous stab wounds to the chest and torso. Mesa Fire Department arrived to the scene and pronounced him dead just after 2 a.m.

Police then discovered the victim had been stabbed up to 50 or 70 times.

Villareal-Suarez admitted to the stabbing to detectives, saying “he wanted to kill him,” according to the release.

He told police that him and the victim met in a “dark area” prior to the altercation, where the victim pulled a knife on Villareal-Suarez trying to rob him of a lighter.

Villareal-Suarez said he removed the knife from the victim, then chasing and stabbing him before eventually taking the tablet. He said he planned to use it or sell it for money because he’s homeless.

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Police arrest man after fatal stabbing over lighter in Mesa